Electric cars can look radically different than gasoline-powered cars. They simply put the moving parts in different places (mostly under the floor), giving designers free rein to be wildly creative with function and form. Few companies have truly embraced the weirdness possible with EVs yet – most legacy automakers seem to think that buyers want something they’re familiar with, and hence, design their EVs to look largely similar to internal combustion engine-powered cars. But there’s no reason they have to.
With that in mind, we give you the Canoo Pickup Truck (seriously that’s its name. At least for now).
Canoo, /zigman2/quotes/211334934/composite GOEV -10.61% a startup based in California, unveiled the stubby space-pod-looking thing online earlier this year. Company designers have fully embraced the notion that an EV doesn’t need to look anything like a gasoline-powered car. This thing completely lacks the traditional hood, instead offering an immense expanse of curved glass that looks like a cross between a rounded city bus and a Star Trek shuttlecraft.
It’s absurdly functional. It’s compact, fitting entirely within the footprint of a Tesla /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA -6.42% Model 3, but offers a 6-foot bed expandable to an 8-foot length, like a much larger truck. And yes, there are taillights on the bed extension, so drivers could drive safely with the bed extended indefinitely. There are 6-foot tables that fold down from each side of the bed, as well as a table that folds off the front fascia, creating a mobile workspace. Exterior power plugs allow users to run power tools or charge equipment off the parked truck. Built-in steps make accessing the roof rack easy.
The Spartan-looking cabin is built for two, but Canoo says a 3-person design is coming. It features a surprisingly deep dashboard. Its screen serves as a digital instrument cluster mounted low and close to the windshield.
The truck will be offered in rear-motor or dual-motor configurations. Canoo offered specifics only on the dual-motor setup, but they’re jaw-dropping. The promise is for 600 horsepower and 200 miles of range in a truck more than two feet shorter than a Toyota /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM -0.38% Tacoma.
The pickup is now available for preorder, with deliveries starting in 2023. Price is unknown, but Canoo’s first model — a delivery van sharing its basic platform with the pickup — starts at $33,000. Given the number of shared components between the two, we expect the truck to carry a similar sticker.